Cruise News Shorts: Princess Permits More Carry-On Wine, Cunard Goes Behind the Scenes and More

February 8, 2013
(1:20 p.m. EST) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting cruise tidbits we think you might like to know about.

More Wine From Home/Port
Princess Cruises is revamping its policy regarding bringing wine onboard from home or a port of call. Beginning immediately, passengers may bring additional bottles of wine or champagne on their Princess ship – beyond the one per adult, per voyage, they are currently permitted. However, each bottle in excess of the one bottle per voyage, per adult, will be charged a $15 corkage fee irrespective of where it will be consumed. The corkage fee for the one permitted bottle of wine will be waived if passengers drink it in their cabin. According to a Princess spokeswoman, the line will begin monitoring and enforcing the policy in the coming weeks.

Take a Peek Behind the Curtain
Taking a cue from several contemporary cruise lines, Cunard has finally opened its back areas to passengers via its new Behind the Scenes tours. The tours will be led by senior officers and will visit the bridge, medical center, engine control room, butcher's shop and more. One 3.5-hour tour, costing $120 per person, will be offered per voyage. Only 16 people may participate. Tours must be booked onboard.

Sayonara Japanese Ports of Call
With tensions mounting between China and Japan over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, Royal Caribbean is taking steps to keep its passengers out of the debate. During the line's last earnings call, Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean CEO and president, said the line has "eliminated virtually all Japanese port calls" from its June itineraries. Instead, ships sailing from Shanghai and Tianjin in China will visit ports in South Korea. "It is not clear what will happen in the summer months," he added.

Ask Cunard a Question
Want to ask Peter Shanks, president and managing director of Cunard Line, his thoughts on cruising and the cruise industry? As part of our expanding series of special guests on the Cruise Critic message boards, Shanks will be answering your questions live February 18 and 19. He told Cruise Critic, "I am very much looking forward to having the opportunity to respond to Cruise Critic readers direct." Go to the Cunard message board to post your question; it can be anything Cunard-related.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor